After Omar Mateen killed 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, actor Aziz Ansari called his Muslim parents, and begged his mother not to “go anywhere near a mosque” out of fear of reprisals.
Ansari, who was born in South Carolina, writes in an essay for the liberal anti-Trump publication New York Times he was struck by the realization of “how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful how she worshipped.”
“The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from (Donald) Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window,” he writes. “It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray,” Ansari confesses. “It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense. The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics.”
He also calls Trump out for continuing to claim that Muslims celebrated in the streets following 9/11. “There was absolutely no cheering,” Ansari says. “Only sadness, horror and fear.”